Ptarmigan Trail

Cougar, Washington 98616

Ptarmigan Trail

Ptarmigan Trail Professional Review and Guide

"The Ptarmigan Trail begins to climb gently to the north as it leaves the parking area. The wide, well-maintained trail heads north through fir forest and huckleberry bushes. Avalanche lilies dot the ground between the bushes and trees. A sign marks the boundary of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument 0.3 miles from the trailhead.

At 1.3 miles is the first good view of Mount St. Helens past the parking area. Now beargrass shares the openings with the huckleberries. The tread gets close to a lava flow 0.3 mile farther along. As you climb, Mount Hood and Mount Adams come into view to the south and east."

Ptarmigan Trail Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon1 Total
I have hiked this one twice, once scouting the Monitor Ridge trail up Mt Saint Helens and the second time on my way to Monitor Ridge for my summit attempt. It's a beautiful windy hike through the trees with some intense switchbacks and great views. It's not a loop, which is what I prefer. But this out and back is great.

Ptarmigan Trail Photos

Help others discover amazing sights!

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,050 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Day hike
Best spring thru fall
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Contacts
USGS Mount St. Helens
Local Maps